Sophie Ashbrook

PhD Student

Focus Area:
Calcification mechanisms and extracellular vesicle formation.

Research Interest:
Working to understand the mechanisms of extracellular vesicles and the key role they play in the development and potential prevention of vascular calcification both in vitro and in vivo.

Fun Fact:
In her free time, Sophie loves to bake!

Education:
BS – Biomedical Engineering (2021, Mississippi State University)


Amirala Bakhshian Nik

PhD Candidate

cv-resume-icon
Focus Area:
Bone-cardiovascular calcification mechanisms, extracellular vesicles formation, and cell mechanics.

Research Interest:
He is studying the mechanisms of extracellular vesicles formation in human smooth muscle cells and osteoblasts from cell mechanics point of view. Furthermore, he’s working on the time-dependency of Bisphosphonates on development of cardiovascular calcification, in vitro and in vivo.

Fun Fact:
Manchester United fan since 1998!

Education:
BS – Materials Engineering (2012, Iran University of Science and Technology)
MS – Biomedical Engineering (2015, University of Tehran)

Office: BME Department Cubicle #7

Website: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=CfrmW3UAAAAJ&hl=en


Daniel Chaparro

PhD Student

cv-resume-icon
Focus Area:
Cardiac tissue biomechanics and mechanobiology.

Research Interest:
How cellular and tissue level mechanics influence extracellular matrix
components and the progression of aortic valve diseases such as calcific aortic valve
disease (CAVD).

Education:
BS – Biomedical Engineering (2018, Florida International University)

Fun Fact:
Daniel can isolate 10 porcine aortic valves in 10 minutes.

Office: EC BME Department Cubicle #10

Valentina Dargam

PhD Candidate

cv-resume-icon
Focus Area:
Using heart sounds to diagnose heart disease.

Research Interest:
Valentina’s research interests include developing low-cost, non-invasive diagnostic techniques to decrease the burden of disease and address health disparities. 

Awards:
McNair Graduate Fellowship (Aug 2018 – July 2020)
NIH F31 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Individual Predoctoral Fellowship to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (Aug 2020 – Aug 2023)

Fun Fact:
She once jumped off a 50-foot cliff into the ocean (and she does not recommend it).

Education:
BS – Biomedical Engineering (2018, Florida International University)

Office: EC BME Department Cubicle #21

Website: https://www.linkedin.com/in/valentinadargam/


Denise Hsu Chia-Pei

PhD Candidate

cv-resume-icon
Focus Area:
Effects of steady and oscillatory flow on cardiovascular cell communication and phenotypic expression.

Research Interest:
Computational studies have shown certain flow profiles promote valvular and vascular tissue formation. My research interest involves defining flow profiles that promote healthy and diseased valvular and vascular phenotypes.

Education:
BS – Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering (2008, Carnegie Mellon University)
MS – Mechanical Engineering (2008, Carnegie Mellon University)

Fun Fact:
On her spare time, Denise enjoys board games, hiking, swimming, and Disney!

Office: EC BME Department Cubicle #5

Website: www.denisehsu.com


Mohammad Shaver

PhD Candidate

cv-resume-icon
Focus Area:
Cardiovascular disease mechanisms.

Research Interest:
Investigating the effect of mechanical forces on cells membrane and its effect on vesicles trafficking, cytoskeleton, and cell-cell communication and their potential role in cardiovascular diseases.

Education:
MS – Textile Engineering and Polymer Science (2008, Islamic Azad University)
BS – Textile Engineering and Polymer Science (2005, Islamic Azad University)

Fun Fact:
Mohammad is a gym addict, loves to watch soccer, and is a sports car enthusiast.

Office: EC BME Department Cubicle #1

Lin Tong

PhD Candidate

Focus Area:
Sensor design.

Awards:
PATHS-UP Student Seed Fund (Apr 2019 – Aug 2020)

Research Interest:
He works on the development of a Magnetic particle based sensing platform.

Fun Fact:
On his free time, he loves spending time with his family!

Education:

Office: EC BME Department Cubicle #

Ana Valentin

PhD Student

cv-resume-icon
Focus Area:
Effect of Relaxin Agonist on Vascular Calcification.

Research Interest:
Currently, there is no existing treatment to resorb existing plaque in the cardiovascular system. Her project proposes the study of a small molecule relaxin agonist in its ability to reverse vascular calcification. 

Awards:
Transdisciplinary Biomolecular and Biomedical Sciences (TBBS) T32 Fellowship (Aug. 2021 – July 2023)

Fun Fact:
She loves to read and collects fountain pens.

Education:
BS – Biomedical Engineering (2021, Florida International University)